Monday, June 16, 2008

FROM THE DESK OF TCA: Streetknit & TCA at BIG on Bloor (June 21) HELP WANTED!

Next weekend (Sat. June 21st) TCA will be doing outreach at the BIG on Bloor Festival alongside a whole bunch of neat-o arts & community groups and craft businesses (Table K18 in the block from Ossington to Shaw). We'll have some cute new TCA merch for sale, are offering a bookbinding activity courtesy of Nightjar Books at around 5pm, and have teamed up with the kids of Streetknit to present a Community Blanket Making activity and chat about housing issues from 2-3pm.

Knitters & other yarnsmiths take note: we could really use your help with this last activity as we have invited a bunch of politicians & community leaders to join us, and while some of them may be handy with the sticks & string, many will probably need your guidance in crafting a piece of the blanket. If you are interested in volunteering your knitting or crocheting skills between 2-3pm June 21st, please get in touch with TCA here.

Also, we need your yarn, needles & hooks! Please contact Ryan if you have stash you can spare.

Here is the full deal on the Community Blanket activity if you are interested in participating or coming to hang out:

Toronto Craft Alert and Streetknit present:

How is Poverty Unmade?
A Community Blanket Making.

Portrait of a Streetknit Knit-in by the People & Values knitclub at Maritz Canada Inc.

On June 21rst, between 2 and 3pm, Toronto Craft Alert and Streetknit will host a community blanket-making and informal discussion on Toronto homelessness, affordable housing and shelters at the Big on Bloor festival.

Our table K18 will be located on Bloor between Ossington and Shaw.

Community members are encouraged to come out, to knit a panel for our blanket, to be pieced together and donated to a suitable shelter or homelessness service provider. Don't know how to knit? No prob! People will be on hand to teach you how.

As part of that, we are inviting folks, knitters, community leaders, people with experience in issues regarding Toronto's homelessness-situation, affordable housing shortage and shelter-situation, to not only take part in the blanket making, but join us for informal, moderated discussion. We have invited many politicians and community activists, from the city, from community-based organizations, and some have already confirmed they will be on hand to answer your questions related to our continued crisis of homelessness in this city.

Many of us don't understand the exact tangle between the three levels of governments, and the various issues which contribute to the challenge in resolving the continued exacerbation to the living conditions of Toronto's most marginalized. We intend this community blanket-making and informal speak as a way of getting concerned citizens, sub-ideologically and respectfully, up to speed. There will also be media invited to take part.

One sees in the knitting community that it is an issue that concerns people across all stripes, we have seen knitting-drives in offices, in high schools, in churches, in knit shops, spanning age, ethnicity and class.

What do we need before the big event?

O, you gentle craftsperson:

1.) Volunteer knitting instructors!
Teach your provincial and municipal leaders what deft authority goes into a single stitch.

2.) Needles!
Currently, I have a lot of mismatched ones. Wanna unload your stash?

3.) Wool!
Unfathomably, we found a home for all those garbage bags full that you've donated to us over the year! Thanks o boundless sheep of basement and attic. And all of those whom we had to modestly discourage from giving us anymore: we'll take some now, please.

4.) Volunteer moderator!
Want to read some questions off a page, combining your budding community activist skills with your hard knitters stance? To be an MC among the clacking of needles? To ask those questions that burn the gentle weave of the mind? ok. thanks. Apply Within.

5.) Your questions!
Undoubtedly, there is will in the community to see change. Undoubtedly a lot of people are flummoxed by the character and colour of the problem. What do you want to know from your community leaders and homelessness-service providers about what's being done to alleviate the crisis with housing in this city.

Send us your questions, and barring incomprehensibility or totally a poison pen (we don't think you would, just letting you know the informal limits are for the discussion to be respectful), we guarantee them a reading!

6.) Do you have something to contribute to the discussion on poverty?
First hand knowledge of the field? Or, perhaps, firsthand knowledge of homelessness or, as we icily and euphemistically put it, living as marginally housed? Drop us a line. We'd love to have you on our blanket making panel (get it, get it!)

Thanks and we hope to see you there!


Toronto Craft Alert


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